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The Scandal of Jesusí Birth
Gutenberg College ^ | Dec 22, 2006 | Jack Crabtree

Posted on 12/26/2012 12:21:18 PM PST by HarleyD

At Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birth because no more important human being has ever been born. Jesus is the first-born of all creation, the one individual for whom everything else exists. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, who will rule the coming age as our sovereign ruler. Jesus is more than just a man; he is the translation of the very nature and sovereignty of God Himself into human form—the image of the invisible God, the fullness of God dwelling in human form. Jesus is the supreme prophet, the one whom God sent into the world to reveal to us and explain to us the meaning of our own existence, the purposes and promises of God, and the good news of God’s plan to grant Life to undeserving man. Jesus is our true high priest, who alone can enter into the very presence of God and represent us to God, just as he alone can represent God to us. Jesus is our advocate, who will plead with God to extend mercy to us, asking that God not give us what we deserve but instead that He would give us Life in the final age. In this sense, Jesus is Life for us; without him the destiny of every last one of us would be death and destruction. Finally, Jesus is our propitiatory offering, who willingly and heroically allowed God, his Father, to pour upon him the wrath that you and I deserve because of our moral perversity. As Jesus himself put it, he died for our sins. And in so doing, he was giving himself up as a costly offering to God, appealing to God to be merciful toward us who identify with and embrace Jesus’ appeal to God for mercy.

All of this became a reality and entered into history when the baby Jesus was born in a shelter for livestock over two thousand years ago in Bethlehem. I want to focus here, however, on Jesus’ willingness to suffer wrath on our behalf.

Christians speak of the “scandal” of the cross. On the cross, Jesus died the death that a sinner deserves. On the cross, Jesus was presented as unrighteous. On the cross, Jesus was heaped with shame and reproach. On the cross, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Master over the whole universe, became an ordinary, petty, mean, and disgusting sinner. On the cross, the Son of God became me; he got what I deserve. Herein lies the scandal: on the cross, the King of glory became the epitome of shame and disgrace. And it is in the face of Jesus’ shame and dishonor that I am to confess, acknowledge, and praise him as the King of glory.

How much easier our faith would be if the Son of God had appeared to be what he was. Why didn’t the King of kings come wearing a crown instead of the stitchless, one-piece garment of a peasant? Why didn’t the Son of God come from an aristocratic family in Jerusalem? Why did he come from an obscure family in an obscure village in the least respected region of the Jews? Why did he not come from a rich, famous, and powerful family of influence? And most importantly, why didn’t the Messiah come in victory? Why was his last fully public act a humiliating defeat at the hands of the power of Rome? This is the scandal of the cross: that the most powerful and exalted creature in God’s created reality should appear to end the time of his visit in weakness, shame, and humiliating defeat.

We can only understand such an odd and ironic fact by understanding that our King chose to join us in our shame. The shame of the cross was not Jesus’ shame; it was our shame. But he took it on himself. The humiliation he endured was not his humiliation; it was ours. But he took it on himself. The pain, the sorrow, the punishment, the condemnation—none of it was his; it was ours. But he took it on himself to make an appeal to God for mercy on our behalf. As righteous and pure and perfectly good as Jesus was, he willingly shared the shame and dishonor of our unrighteousness in order that God’s purpose to save us might be fulfilled.

It is interesting, therefore, that the narrative of Jesus’ birth anticipated in a small way Jesus’ act of joining us in our shame. Let me explain.

Probably because of the cultural importance we place on Christmas, seldom do we mention how scandalous the birth of Jesus had to be. Among the many ironies of the incarnation is the irony that the Son of God came into the world in such a way that it could not help but be scandalous. He began his life among us with scandal just as surely as he ended it with scandal. Not only is there the scandal of the cross, but there is also the scandal of the birth.

God did not appear to the whole village of Nazareth—let alone the whole nation of Israel—to announce the miraculous conception of a baby destined to be the Son of God. No, God sent the angel Gabriel with a private message for one young woman’s ears only. Surely God understood the implications of what He was doing and how He was doing it. He was setting Mary up for scandal. What rational person would not justifiably conclude that a young pregnant woman who was betrothed but unmarried had been sexually unrighteous? God could have prevented that. He could have let the whole village in on the secret. He could have vindicated Mary by making it clear to everyone that He, the Creator of the universe, was responsible for her pregnancy. But He did not. He left her in a condition where shame and dishonor in the eyes of her neighbors would be the inevitable result. Why did God do that?

I can only speculate, of course. But I have to wonder whether God was not setting up an act that would anticipate what was to come. To understand this, we have to look at the most neglected figure in the Nativity story: Joseph.

The chronology of the events around Jesus’ birth is incomplete, and so it is difficult to give an exact, detailed account of what happened when. What follows is my best reconciliation of the accounts in Matthew and Luke.

An angel announces to Zacharias that he and his wife Elizabeth will have a son in their old age. Their son will be the forerunner who will prepare the way for the coming Messiah. Six months into Elizabeth’s pregnancy with the baby who would become John the Baptist, the angel comes privately to Elizabeth’s young cousin Mary and informs her that she will supernaturally conceive a child who will be the promised Messiah, the Son of God. Almost immediately, Mary travels to visit Elizabeth for about three months. Probably after the birth of John, Mary, then three months pregnant, returns to her home in Nazareth where her family and Joseph, the man to whom she is betrothed, await her. In all likelihood, none of the people in Nazareth—including Joseph and her own family—are yet aware that Mary is pregnant.

The next thing we know, Joseph and Mary are required by the census of Caesar Augustus to relocate to Bethlehem. Where this move falls in the chronology of events is not clear. The most likely reading of the gospel accounts is that their journey to Bethlehem happens shortly after Mary’s return from Elizabeth’s home. If so, then Mary leaves Nazareth with Joseph before any of her family and neighbors know of her pregnancy. And, indeed, it may very well be that Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem before Joseph knows that Mary is pregnant, four or five months before the baby Jesus will be born. This scenario is different from the one our traditional Christmas cards depict, but it seems to be a likely reading of the two gospel accounts.

If my chronology is right, then Bethlehem is the arena for the scandal surrounding Mary and Joseph. Put yourself in the shoes of Mary and Joseph’s new neighbors. A young couple, betrothed but not yet married, arrives in Bethlehem for the census. Three to four months later—the couple still unmarried—it becomes obvious that the young woman is pregnant. Whatever one might conclude does not look good for Mary. Perhaps both Mary and Joseph have been sexually immoral, but certainly Mary has played the sinner.

At this point, Joseph’s choices and actions become important. We do not know how he learns of Mary’s pregnancy. Perhaps he did not know until Mary could no longer hide it. Perhaps, in anticipation, Mary finally had to tell him. However he found out, now he knew; and he was faced with a choice. I assume that Mary would have tried to tell Joseph the truth, but under the circumstances, believing Mary’s story that she had supernaturally conceived the Son of God was not a rational option for Joseph. It was far more likely that Mary had been sexually immoral than that such a unique miracle had occurred. So, Joseph was left with three rational options. (1) He could publicly accuse Mary of sexual immorality and make a public scene of releasing her from their betrothal contract. This option would have put Mary in great jeopardy because the penalty for adultery was death by stoning. (2) Joseph could join Mary in her shame and dishonor and simply proceed with the marriage. Everyone would assume that the two of them had been sexually inappropriate, even though Joseph knew that he had not been. But he could choose to protect Mary and keep her from harm by joining her in her shame and dishonor. The problem with this second option is that it did not honor righteousness. It would entail Joseph’s winking at sexual immorality, treating it as if it were no big deal, which is something Joseph could not do, for, as Matthew tells us, Joseph was a righteous man. (3) Matthew tells us that Joseph chose the third possible option—namely, he would respect the Law with regard to sexual righteousness while being as kind as possible to Mary. Thus he opted to break his betrothal to a woman who—as far as he knew—had demonstrated herself a Law-breaker; but he opted to do so privately and quietly, in a way that would minimize the negative impact on her.

At least, that is what Joseph had opted to do before God came to him in a dream and verified Mary’s story. Mary had not broken the Law. Mary had not been sexually immoral. God had chosen Mary for a unique and special role: to conceive and give birth to the King of kings while she was still a virgin. The divine instruction to Joseph was to take Mary as his wife. We have to understand, however, what God was asking of Joseph. In effect, God was asking Joseph to join Mary in her shame. She was not to bear the inevitable shame and dishonor alone; he was to join her in bearing it. He was to take Mary as his wife with the inevitable result that their Bethlehem neighbors would believe that the stigma of sexual immorality rested on them both. Joseph had not been sexually immoral; no stigma should justly fall on him. But God asked him to volunteer willingly to bear the perceived sin of Mary on himself, even though it was not his sin. Joseph did just as God instructed. His act was kind, gracious, and heroic. He could have chosen to put his own honor ahead of compassion and separated himself from Mary’s shame. But he did not. He chose to bear willingly and heroically Mary’s shame along with her, even though it did not justly belong to him.

Note how interestingly Joseph’s choice anticipated one of the most heroic choices that Jesus would perform. The father, Joseph, heroically joined Mary in her shame. The son, Jesus, would one day heroically join every one of us in our shame, when he voluntarily chose his death on the cross. God so orchestrated the events surrounding Jesus’ birth that Joseph’s act, in its own small way, anticipated the heroic act that his son would be called upon to perform. In order for God’s saving purposes to be fulfilled, Joseph mercifully had to join a sinner in her shame; he had to bear her shame along with her. Joseph’s act is exactly analogous to the central act of God’s saving purposes in world history: Jesus mercifully joined us sinners in our shame; he bore our shame along with us.

Without Jesus’ heroic act, there would be no salvation. But at the first Christmas, in his own small way, Joseph had to make that same heroic choice first. That is the glory of this season. For at Christmas we celebrate the scandal-shrouded birth of the hero whom God sent into the world to join us in the scandal of our sin so that we might Live and not be destroyed.

Copyright December 2007 by McKenzie Study Center, an institute of Gutenberg College.


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: christ; christmas; jesus; joseph; nazareth
An excellent article
1 posted on 12/26/2012 12:21:29 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8:41&version=KJV

... Then said they to Him, We be not born of fornication; ...

Guess they must have missed that passage in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6.


2 posted on 12/26/2012 12:30:09 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: HarleyD

Thanks for posting.


3 posted on 12/26/2012 12:56:30 PM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: F15Eagle

I’ve read that passage and most commentators say the passage is unclear. One way it could be interpreted is the Jewish leaders are referring to Christ’s birth. Another way is the Jewish leaders are referring to themselves. As with other such passages, perhaps it has a duo purpose.


4 posted on 12/26/2012 12:58:34 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

They’re saying that they knew Mary was pregnant before Joseph married her. The time of His birth didn’t synch with the wedding.

Therefore, they accused His parents (or so they think) of being fornicators before they were married. They simply did not comprehend the Holy Ghost overshadowing Mary.

And of course, later we see they, or many of them, knew Who He was and were simply trying to fight Him for some odd reason (hence His accusation that they were of the Devil).

An exception being Nicodemus who turned out to be sincere.


5 posted on 12/26/2012 1:14:03 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: HarleyD

Anybody who believes Christ on the Cross was to receive shame doesn’t understand the Gospel message.


6 posted on 12/26/2012 1:18:35 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: F15Eagle
Guess they must have missed that passage in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6.

Yes, they did miss it. And I suspect that, had we lived in 1st century Palestine, we would have missed it, too. We can thank God that we live 2000 years later when so much of what is understood about Jesus is settled.

Perhaps we ought to ask God what part of his message that we—being sinners like the Pharisees—are missing today.

7 posted on 12/26/2012 1:20:04 PM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: newheart

Keep in mind it wasn’t called “Palestine” until Rome renamed it after the Jewish revolt in 135 A.D. — more than 100 years after Jesus.

They renamed it “Syria-Palestini” (sp).


8 posted on 12/26/2012 1:25:19 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: newheart

You are correct, the Romans did rename the land. Nonetheless my point remains the same:

Yes, they did miss it. And I suspect that, had we lived in 1st century Jerusalem, we would have missed it, too. We can thank God that we live 2000 years later when so much of what is understood about Jesus is settled.

Perhaps we ought to ask God what part of his message that we—being sinners like the Pharisees—are missing today.


9 posted on 12/26/2012 1:33:51 PM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: Cvengr
Anybody who believes Christ on the Cross was to receive shame doesn’t understand the Gospel message.

Okay. I don't understand your comment. The shameful nature of death on the cross has always been central to my understanding. Not that Christ deserved that shame (I do) but that he suffered that for "the sake of the joy set before him." (Heb. 12:2)

10 posted on 12/26/2012 1:44:58 PM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: HarleyD
I think Crabtree wanders afield from scripture (Mat 1:18-20) wherein it appears little time passed before the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him, 'that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.'

Yet Crabtree says, 'In all likelihood, none of the people in Nazareth—including Joseph and her own family—are yet aware that Mary is pregnant.'

I beg to differ, and very much doubt that Mary left to visit her cousin Elizabeth without Joseph first hearing from the Angel of the Lord - most likely within mere hours of Mary's own visitation.

11 posted on 12/26/2012 1:50:24 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: F15Eagle
They simply did not comprehend the Holy Ghost overshadowing Mary.

To be fair neither did Mary or Joseph until an Angel explained it to them personally.

12 posted on 12/26/2012 1:54:52 PM PST by DManA
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To: HarleyD
Thanks for posting this -- I think this is a very good reading. I appreciate the attention to Joseph, who really was in a baffling situation --- but came through admirably.

Interesting to think what it was a like for him for years afterwards, living with boy who was not his son, but actually God incarnate, and with a woman who (though herself being perplexed, "turning things over in her heart"), lived in fidelity to the Holy Spirit, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, Who, overshadowing, espoused her.

13 posted on 12/26/2012 2:29:35 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Christ lui-meme est descendu et m'a prise.)
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To: HarleyD

re: “He was setting Mary up for scandal. What rational person would not justifiably conclude that a young pregnant woman who was betrothed but unmarried had been sexually unrighteous? God could have prevented that. He could have let the whole village in on the secret. He could have vindicated Mary by making it clear to everyone that He, the Creator of the universe, was responsible for her pregnancy. But He did not. He left her in a condition where shame and dishonor in the eyes of her neighbors would be the inevitable result. Why did God do that?”

I like the article very much. I really do not believe there was any way to avoid putting Mary in an awkward situation - if God’s Son was to be virgin born - if God’s Son was to be fully God, and yet fully human as well, how could this situation be avoided? It could not.

I don’t think it would be possible to avoid scandel either, even if God had revealed this to the entire village (Nazareth probably numbered less than a 1000 people - some say only around 80 people in Jesus’ time!), it was such a small number that rumors would probably still have circulated that Jesus’s birth was questionable.

Re: “Probably after the birth of John, Mary, then three months pregnant, returns to her home in Nazareth where her family and Joseph, the man to whom she is betrothed, await her. In all likelihood, none of the people in Nazareth—including Joseph and her own family—are yet aware that Mary is pregnant.

The next thing we know, Joseph and Mary are required by the census of Caesar Augustus to relocate to Bethlehem. Where this move falls in the chronology of events is not clear.

The most likely reading of the gospel accounts is that their journey to Bethlehem happens shortly after Mary’s return from Elizabeth’s home. If so, then Mary leaves Nazareth with Joseph before any of her family and neighbors know of her pregnancy. And, indeed, it may very well be that Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem before Joseph knows that Mary is pregnant, four or five months before the baby Jesus will be born.”

Ok, I think the writer is mistaken in his assumption that Joseph was not aware that Mary was pregnant, or that he did not know that her pregnancy was due to a miracle from God, before they went to Bethlehem.

The implication in Matthew 1:18-24 and Luke 2 is that Joseph was fully aware of her pregnancy and the miraculous circumstances surrounding her pregnancy prior to his taking her with him to Bethlehem.

The time when Joseph became aware of her pregnancy seems to be on Mary’s return from visiting Elizabeth, according to Luke 2:4-5, but it could have occurred before she left for Elizabeth’s – we just do not know.

We also do not know how much time passes from her return from Elizabeth’s home to when the decree from Augustus is made. In addition, we do not know how much time passes following Mary’s return before she and Joseph leave for Bethlehem, but I think it is obvious that Joseph knew about Mary’s condition and the circumstances of it before they leave for Bethlehem..

The angel tells Joseph that Mary’s story regarding her pregnancy was true and that he should not be afraid to complete their marriage plans. Matthew only says that Joseph waited until after Jesus’ birth to consummate their marriage – this also fits in with Luke’s account in chapter 2 that “Joseph took his betrothed wife to Bethlehem”.

None of this means that he was unaware of her pregnancy or was unaware of the miraculous circumstances of it before leaving for Bethlehem.

Also, I disagree that Mary and Joseph could have been in Bethlehem two or three months before the birth takes place. If they were living in Bethlehem that long before Jesus was born, then why didn’t they have a place to stay? That just doens’t make sense. No, the passages in Luke clearly implicate that they had newly arrived in Bethlehem, her labor begins, and they have no place to be, no room, no house, no nothing.

It also makes no sense that Joseph would bring a very pregnant Mary along with him to Bethlehem, unless he was fully aware of Mary’s condition and the possible religious/moral/social stigma retaliation that might occur if he left her in Nazareth alone. I think Joseph knew he had to bring her along, even though it would be a difficult journey for Mary physically, because leaving her behind in Nazareth could put her in a very dangerous situation.

For these reasons I think the writer is stretching the facts way too much to say that Joseph was ignorant of what was going on.

His point about Joseph’s courage and honor in sharing in Mary’s “scandal” are well taken and true, but, as I said, I do not believe he was unaware of what was happening prior to Bethlehem.


14 posted on 12/26/2012 2:40:57 PM PST by rusty schucklefurd
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To: newheart

The Cross was all about judgment, not shame.

The sins of all mankind were imputed to Christ on the Cross and He was judged for them.

He wasn’t shamed on the Cross. On the contrary, He remained obedient to the Plan of God the Father when He went to the Cross, so He wasn’t shamed. He was judged and suffered the penalty of sin.


15 posted on 12/26/2012 2:47:00 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

Dear brother in Christ Cvengr,

Please read the following passage.

Gal 3:13

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

My amplification follows.

Jesus took on all sin, received the punishment we all deserve, and is our substitutionary sacrifice. That being said, at the moment when Jesus said “Father, why hast thou forsaken Me?” - it’s because at that moment, Jesus had placed on him the full weight of all the sins of man, from Adam’s time, to the last sin of man in the end times.

What could pay for such a almost infinite amount of sin? Only the blood of an infinite God, humbled to become as a man, unto death on the cross.

Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the one who knows the beginning from the end (Infinite Wisdom), Jesus, who created the universe from nothing, and holds it together to this day (Infinite Power), who humbled Himself, to become a man, even to death on cross, to save us while we were yet sinners (Infinite Love).


16 posted on 12/26/2012 2:52:37 PM PST by BereanBrain
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To: BereanBrain

If it was the blood of God, then it wasn’t a substitutionary atonement for the sins of humanity. It was the blood of Jesus Christ, in His humanity, who was judged in His humanity for all human sins.


17 posted on 12/26/2012 2:58:31 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: F15Eagle

Well stated.

IMHO, the entire article makes several premises appealing to a worldly system prior to simple faith in what God provides.

The article attempts to substitute shame and emotion for God’s Perfect Justice.

It attempts to label the birth of Christ as a scandal, rather than a fulfillment of His Plan.

It appeals to man-made authority independent of God or sharing in His power as it’s primary object of faith, instead of faith through Christ in Him.

The are many true positions stated in the article, but their summaries all promote placing faith in many different counterfeit substitutes for His Plan and our relationship with God through faith in Christ.


18 posted on 12/26/2012 3:06:18 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: BereanBrain
"...at the moment when Jesus said “Father, why hast thou forsaken Me?” - it’s because at that moment, Jesus had placed on him the full weight of all the sins of man, from Adam’s time, to the last sin of man in the end times."

A slight correction. We witness from the quote of our Lord Christ Jesus, that at that moment, Jesus Christ had suffered a spiritual death from God the Father. That death was a consequence of the judgment of all humanity's sins being imputed to Jesus Christ on the Cross. Christ accepted the burden of that imputation and was judged by the Perfect Judgment of the Perfect Righteousness of God the Father.

Once those sins were judged, God the Father was free in His grace to give the human spirit back to Christ via the Holy Spirit and to resurrect the body into the resurrection body as the First Fruits.

Cursed, yes, but this is a different meaning than shamed.

The only shame implied in the Roman and Jewish treatment of our Lord Christ Jesus was based upon a counterfeit substitute to God's Plan in a worldly system of governance.

Even when the mobs spat upon Him, our Lord recognized their sin in judging Him and confusing Him for being sinful by praying to God the Father that He might forgive them for they knew not what they did.

19 posted on 12/26/2012 3:28:17 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: HarleyD

Just beautiful. Thank you for posting.


20 posted on 12/26/2012 4:27:18 PM PST by Albion Wilde ("If you're going through hell, keep on going."--Winston Churchill)
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To: rusty schucklefurd
I agree with several of your points including when they arrived in Bethlehem. They were commanded to go so they didn't have a choice. But it doesn't appear they arrived months earlier otherwise there probably would have been room for them-at least somewhere. Of course, then one could consider that, if they expected a large influx of people, the inns most likely jacked up their prices. But the scriptures don't tell us "there was no room at the inn because of price gouging".

What I think is interesting in Crabtree's analysis is the timeline and the predicament of Joseph. While perhaps there is some speculation into exactly when events took place, we know from scripture that

So while Crabtree's timeline is slightly subjective, his analysis of events are not. It was clear they left before anyone knew and arrived when it was obvious. Joseph's respectable alternative to save face was to put Mary away quietly and disavow her. Instead he was willing to endure what must have been the "shame" for the cause of God.
21 posted on 12/26/2012 5:35:48 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: Cvengr

Shame is not like judgement. Judgement flows from an individual in an official sense, while shame is a general sense of reproach and can be formed corporately and amongst a group.

You should not blame the Roman and Jewish authorities for the treatment of our Lord. He did not. He forgave them. Do you realize that what they did, they fulfilled scripture, and that without it, mankind would be lost? Also, Jesus died for OUR sins. It was, in effect the entirety of mankind that crucified Jesus. His blood is on all our hands, just as the guilt of Adams’s sin is on us as well.


22 posted on 12/26/2012 8:05:25 PM PST by BereanBrain
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To: moder_ator

Is it possible to get some clarification as to what was wrong with my comment #9 on this thread? Pulling the comment may be legitimate, but unless I know what was wrong with it I am likely to make the same mistake again.


23 posted on 12/26/2012 8:10:22 PM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: newheart

No reason was logged and I did not see anything wrong with the post, so I restored it.


24 posted on 12/26/2012 8:23:04 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Thanks


25 posted on 12/26/2012 8:27:53 PM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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I’m so tempted to post today’s xkcd.com but I won’t.


26 posted on 12/26/2012 8:31:14 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: HarleyD

Yes, an excellent article. It explains salvation very well.


27 posted on 12/26/2012 9:33:05 PM PST by Lake Living
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To: BereanBrain
Shame is not like judgement.

True. This is why the article preaches a false gospel. The Cross was not about shame, it was all Judgment.

You should not blame the Roman and Jewish authorities for the treatment of our Lord. He did not. He forgave them.

This is a subtle introduction of a false accusation. Blame has not been entered into the discussion in post #19.

Identification of sin is requisite before forgiveness. Our Lord, Christ Jesus, recognized sin when manifest to Him. He then identified that to God the Father, when He requested the Father forgive that sin. Until the work of the Cross was finished, Judgment was performed by God the Father.

The work of the Cross was Judgment, not forgiveness. The judgment allows a righteous God to justly forgive.

This is a fundamental difference between Christianity and other religions and stressed in the Tabernacle rituals of worship. The Perfect Justice of God is also a major stumbling block to Islam.

A common stumbling block to those drawn to Christ is confusing emotion for salvation. The article promotes this confusion by preaching a false gospel of shame as the work of the Cross.

28 posted on 12/27/2012 12:20:23 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr; BereanBrain
The Cross was not about shame, it was all Judgment.

The term "shame" is defined in the Greek as "dishonor". It is used in several places:

Same Greek word. Christ did not mind suffering shame (dishonor) and punishment for us that we should have bore. This is penal substitution, something which Catholics do not believe-at least not any longer.

From the article:

Now what part do you not agree with?
29 posted on 12/27/2012 7:24:17 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

The entire blasphemous article.

Jesus Christ is not a sinner. Even the Scripture presented defeats the premise of the article.

Heb 12:2
(2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

If the article were true, the Scripture would indicate Christ accepted the shame, but to the contrary He never accepted the shame, but patiently persevered through the ordeal, despising the shame. He was anything other than shamed by the ordeal, although many who do not believe think he was shamed in His thinking on the Cross.

His focus was upon His obedience to the Will of the Father and fulfillment of His Plan.

The judgment is forensic. Christ didn’t sin, nor did He become a sinner, but the sins of the world were imputed upon Him and the penalty of death executed as evidenced when Christ cried out, “Why have you forsaken me?”.

This strategic victory in the angelic conflict manifests the genius of God’s Plan. By remaining true to God the Father, God executed the penalty of sin for all mankind in one.


30 posted on 12/27/2012 8:48:33 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
The entire blasphemous article. Jesus Christ is not a sinner.

Where on earth does this author state Jesus is a sinner? Paul states that Christ did become sin for us:

2Co_5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

It is this sin that is shame before God. It is our shame that Christ bore.

31 posted on 12/28/2012 8:32:12 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

The third paragraph of the article is a false gospel. It is not the Gospel Paul preached. It is closer to spiritual pornography.

Those who come to Christ through faith in Him, rejoice in the work of the Cross.


32 posted on 12/28/2012 2:15:51 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
I would suggest you are completely missing the point. Christ died in our place and bore the suffering that we should have endured. What may sound like "pornography" to you is nothing more than the grace of God to others.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

He took OUR sins and nailed it to HIS cross. All our sins, shame, reproach was laid on Christ our Lord. This is the great and merciful sacrifice of God the Son. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. And that includes all the baggage that goes along with it. This is what the early fathers believed and it's the gospel.

Now if you would like to discuss the new and "improved" Catholic version of how Christ came, lived a good life, and died for everyone's sin just so that we might know what true sacrificial living is, and how we should live such a peachy-keen sacrificial life like His and go to heaven; then you're welcome to post some links to the most current Catholic writers who believe such nonsense.

But it's apparent that we have differing views of what pornography is.

33 posted on 12/28/2012 5:35:53 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

I applaud those who recognize He died for our sins.

Our Lord and Savior did not become a sinner, nor did he wallow in shame and guilt when He was on the Cross.

The article confuses the temptation of sinners before an angry God, who have a tendency to view God from the viewpoint of unrighteousness, anticipating fiery indignation, instead of the perspective of Jesus Christ who disregarded shame, for the joy available in remaining obedient to God the Father.

Obviously He bore the sins of all mankind, past, present, and future, when He was judged on the Cross.

He wasn’t shameful in His actions or thinking or in His spirit. Throughout the process, He remained faithful to God the Father.


34 posted on 12/29/2012 9:19:57 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
Our Lord and Savior did not become a sinner

You have not provided ONE specific reference where the author supposedly makes this claim. Please let me know when you do.

The article confuses the temptation of sinners before an angry God, who have a tendency to view God from the viewpoint of unrighteousness, anticipating fiery indignation

While some may view God as "wrathful" or "vengeful", I do not. God wrath or vengenace is a manifestation of His righteous judgment displayed on an uncaring populace that has gone too far in reprobation.

instead of the perspective of Jesus Christ who disregarded shame, for the joy available in remaining obedient to God the Father.

This is not what Isaiah says:

This paints an entirely different picture than someone who simply disregards shame to do the Father's will.

BTW-It's odd that you're using the term that Christ was shamed when you made such a point against that with this author. Don't you see the contradiction in your view between your two statements?

instead of the perspective of Jesus Christ who disregarded shame

He wasn’t shameful in His actions or ...

35 posted on 12/29/2012 1:33:03 PM PST by HarleyD
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